Ginger and Cilantro Latkes (and Troubleshooting the Batter)

The chilli latkes vanished speedily the last time I made them, even in the mouths of babes aged 2 and 4. These ginger and cilantro ones are similar, and in a second batch, I added one grated zucchini too, which made no difference to the taste but definitely helped the conscience 😉  In a food processor, add the onion, about an inch of fresh ginger, four garlic cloves, give it a whizz, then turn it into a pan and saute till fragrant. Add that to the grated potato, with or without zucchini, with a massive handful of chopped cilantro. I added a tablespoon of cornmeal for crunch, don’t forget the other ingredients. Serve with sour cream, or applesauce, or a sweet chilli sauce (the latter would have been the clear winner with the Maccabees, I assure you).

Here are some tips on how to get the latke batter just right. (more…)

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December 14, 2009. Tags: , , . Asian, Cultural Feasts, Festive, Hanukkah, Herbs, Hors D'oeuvres, Jewish, Savories. 2 comments.

Hanukkah Donuts with Apple Cider and Jam

One of the highlights of Hanukkah, a largely secular celebration for Jews, is that one gets to eat naughty things that are fried to a golden crisp, like latkes (modified hash browns, really), and often, after the frying, also stuffed with jam and covered in sugar, like doughnuts/donuts, known as sufganiyot in Hebrew. Well, those are the long-lived traditions and I’m going to stick by them.

Having said that, potatoes are a relatively recent introduction into latkes, which traditionally were made of cheese.

In Hanukkahs past, in countries past, it’s been enjoyable incorporating a bit of the local flavors into these traditional treats. Like making cilantro and chilli latkes in Singapore, sweet potato and maple latkes in Toronto, and in London, where anything goes, really – cumin and thai basil latkes. (more…)

December 11, 2009. Tags: , . Baked Goods, Cakes, Desserts, Festive, Hanukkah, Jewish, Kids Cuisine. 6 comments.

The Nightmare NYC Cab Ride (and the iPhone Lost in the Mayhem)

(Published on Baristanet Dec. 10, 2009)

The babysitter was booked and the excitement had built for weeks. We had a party to attend in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Old and dear friends would be there, the venue was a friend’s loft apartment, the charms of which we looked forward to reprising; nothing would stand in our way. (more…)

December 10, 2009. Tags: , . Musings, Stories. 4 comments.

Take That, Nintendo! Teeny Toys Trump Screen Games

It began with 25 cents promised at a bowling alley. My 7 year old was at a friend’s birthday party, having a really good game with kids older than him, but struggling a little with the fact that he wasn’t winning (he’s the champion Wii bowler at home). I rationalized with him, saying someone’s got to be at the top and it won’t always be him, that the others were a bit bigger, stronger, etc. And, for Pete’s sake, he was second playing against a group of 8 and 9 year olds.

Finally, I resorted to bribery. “Okay, you’ll get a quarter to spend at the vending machine with the teeny tiny animals. Just play your little heart out, have fun, and don’t worry about not being at the top.”

Worked like a charm. Being a sucker for teeny tiny animals, peace and smiles reigned for the next hour of play. After pizza and cake, he reminded me about the quarter. Slotted it into the machine – special moment for mother and child, our first vending machine (non-drink) purchase ever – and out popped a tiny red koala bear.

(more…)

December 10, 2009. Tags: , , . Musings, Stories. 5 comments.